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tv   NBC Bay Area News at 11  NBC  April 17, 2013 11:00pm-11:35pm PDT

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the blast so powerful, witnesses describing it like a nuclear bomb. >> the fire is still smoldering, at least 200 people have been injured, nearly 40 of them in critical condition. and many are feared dead. there's no exact number at this hour. a state trooper just back from the blast zone had a stunning account. >> i can tell you i was there. i walked through the blast area. i searched some houses earlier tonight. massive. just like iraq, just like the murrah building in oklahoma city. some kind of anhydrous exploded. you can imagine what kind of damage we're looking at there. >> nearby apartment buildings completely decimated. at 2:00 in the morning texas time, six hours after the blasted, crews are still going door to door to help the
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injured. >> we're following this breaking story for you this evening. the small community of west is engulfed tonight. the very firefighters who rushed in to put out the fire caught in that blast they're still unaccounted for at this hour. george kiriyama is tracking the story for us. >> let's take a look at the area where the explosion happened. the town of wes is about 18 miles north of waco and 70 miles south much dallas. one witness captured the magnitude of the blast on cell phone video. >> the action of shock in a few seconds, the explosion sent a huge fireball into the sky. flames and smoke pouring high into the air. the evacuations are underway because officials are worried that another tank at the plant might blow up.
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the faa -- they've imposed a flight restriction over the town of west. i talked to a doctor from urgent care a few minutes ago. she said the number of injuries will make it a great challenge for the number of responders out there. they will have to prioritize, those with the most critical injuries will get the most attention. >> people are scared, people are wanting to pray, they're concerned. they're -- you know, they're scared. it was a -- it's a terrible accident. bottom line. >> what about the fertilizer plant, you said that's been here for years? >> yes, for many years. i heard it's leveled about. >> stuff in there. >> being here and seeing this and not knowing, i would imagine. >> it's just hard to say. >> documents received by media outlets are showing that the fertilizer plant had reported to the epa and local safety officials that it had no risk of fire or explosions. the report says the worst possible scenario would be a 10
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minute release of ammonia gas that would not kill or hurt anyone. this report is on file with the local fire department. george kiriyama, nbc bay area news. >> thank you, george. a lot of questions as to what's happened there tonight. we just got a statement in from rick perry. it says, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of west, and the first responders ornt scene. the texas governor goes on to say that state officials are monitoring developments closely and all state resources have been mobilized to help local authorities. >> the explosion happened at 5:50 our time. that's 7:50 p.m. in texas. the plant was engulfed in flames when they arrived a few minutes later. several people were killed but they do not know how many. we do know at least 200 people have been injured. the mayor of that small town, so the explosion destroyed houses in a 5 to 6 block radius. crews will be performing searches house to house through
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the night and into the morning. we will continue to follow this breaking story and bring you the latest. we have a significant break in the case in boston. tomorrow the fbi is expected to announce exactly where this investigation stands. sources tell nbc news that a key piece of video and still photos have provided the fbi critical clues. also, it turns out a local company here in the bay area was indirectly involved in the bomb. we have team coverage tonight, nbc's bay area terry mcsweeney is in boston. we begin with gene ellie with a bay area based website that's helping catch these suspected bombers. jean? >> reporter: thousands of people are online tonight sharing pictures, looking at pictures hoping to help police identify the boston bomber. police say the effort can be helpful, it also raises concerns about pointing the finger at the wrong people. >> the finish line of the boston marathon was a well photographed place before and after the bombing. all of those images are now
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pouring into police. >> you can't expect a department to be able to sift quickly through all that information. >> a communications professor is watching the online community log on to help. people on websites like bay area based reddit are doing detective work of their own. sharing and comparing photos hoping to help identify the boston bomber. >> if you click on it, you will see a video and photos. >> san francisco police say the input can help. an outraged public health helped find a suspect who vandalized city buses. the department started the lineup in december. people are watching the weekly crime videos posted online and sending in tips. >> we've been able to identify several suspects involved in these videos through people aknown mousily calling us. >> people can help police, but
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cautions the online community should stick to providing information. >> becoming vigilantes, not just people providing information, but people acting on that information. that would be a problem. >> and while circling people's faces in red suggesting they could be a suspect isn't against the law, there are legal concerns. >> it's when people's names start to be used and they say, oh, this person was it. and people start stating things that they don't really know as a fact. i mean, that's when we get into defamation. >> real world rules for an an n anonymous online community. >> the website says it does not support vigilante justice and people are innocent until proven guilty. reporting live in san francisco, jean ellie, nbc bay area news. >> thank you. >> another bay area company is involved in this investigation. it produces a battery now linked to powering those bombs. let's bring in terry mcsweeney with our continuing coverage of the investigation and the
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developments. >> more than 1,000 fbi agents are tracking possible leads tonight. after they discovered remnants of the two bombs, investigators revealed inside the bomb was a battery made by tenergy. >> horrified, appalled, appalled and shocked the batteries are largely for toys. cars and trucks, and to see it used in such a way is just horrifying. >> the company sells tens of thousands of these batteries nationwide. used for remote controlled cars. tenergy is working with officials. >> martinez is recovering this morning. shrapnel hit him. his father says people immediately jumped in to help after the blast. >> people came to help us quickly.
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i'm not sure who they were. someone brought a turn cat with a belt. it wasn't bleeding heavily, but it was -- it didn't look very good. like a war wound. and luckily they got him on an ambulance pretty quickly. >> in boston today, hundreds of people raced to the federal courthouse when the erroneous story broke about a suspect in custody on his way there. eva texted her father to say she wanted to be there. to see the man who had killed her 8-year-old friend martin richard. she told me about how she felt seeing his killer. >> mad and scared. >> mad. explain that to me. >> when i first heard, i was really mad at him, i didn't know who would do that. like i don't know what he was thinking at the time. but it was just really heartbreaking. >> also today, the third victim of the attack has been identified. she is a chinese national and graduate student at boston university. she earned her undergraduate degree at uc riverside. as the investigation moves into
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its fourth day, president obama and first lady michelle will arrive in town tomorrow. they'll be here for an interfaith church service to mourn the three people killed in the attacks. terry mcsweeney, nbc bay area news. >> we invite you to stay with nbc bay area news for all the latest on the developing investigation. we'll have more from boston in just a few hours on our morning show beginning at 4:30 a.m. you can get updates any time on our website at nbcbayarea.com. the man who sent letters that tested positive for ricin is under arrest tonight. a law enforcement source says they arrested kenneth curtis who they believe is from tupelo, mississippi. roger wicker in mississippi received one of those letters believed to be curtis. lab tests are being conducted and results are expected in 48 hours. ricin is a highly toxic compound. tonight new questions and accusations involving the 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after being allegedly sexually assaulted and bullied
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by three teenaged boys. they were all classmates at sarah toga high school. the los gatos school issued a report saying, audrey never reported being bullied. her parents say they met with school administrators several times asking the young men be expelled. >> the bullying occurred on campus between students. then that's something that the school perhaps should have prevented. >> the family accuses the school district of being more interested in protecting its image than taking responsibility for its lack of action. the district says it shares a common responsibility to stand up and speak out about harassing behavior. coming up, lawmakers speaking after an investigative report. >> the governor needs to replace
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the president of the public utilities commission. >> what they're demands from the agency that overseas public utilities. a sweet tooth that a woman credits keeping her away from the boston bombings. a massive explosion in the town of west, right now, more than 100 people injured. dozens of people feared to be dead. we'll have an update for you just ahead.
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we're going to make sure everyone's accounted for. >> that is a vow from the mayor of west texas.
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a small community in the town of west texas. after a massive fire and explosion ripped through a fertilizer plan the. his name is tommy muska. they're going to continue the search for people tonight. more than 100 injured, dozens feared dead. and many people still unaccounted for, some five hours or six hours after the blaze. we'll continue to monitor the situation there. we have more from the investigation and the story coming out of boston. there are so many stories involving bay area people there at the marathon. one woman can thank her sweet tooth for avoiding those bombs. >> she was at the finish line to watch her 63-year-old mother run through but missed being in the blast zone because of a last minute decision. kerry mcsweeney has more. >> reporter: 63-year-old cho smith's mom ran the marathon. her hunger may have saved her
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life. >> i saw the bakery, i heard about it, i thought, i could meet her at the family meeting area if i go get a cinnamon roll instead of meeting her at the finish line. >> suddenly the first bomb went off where she was supposed to be. >> it was really shrine the and then everyone left. tranh had no idea her mother was less than a mile from the finish line. had she run a little faster or had tranh been a little less hungry they could have been at the finish line at the same time. >> the second bomb goes off. and we don't want to go to the finish line. >> cho has felt the pain of the bomb blast survivors, she was torn up by shrapnel as a girl in vietnam. >> i got one to my legs. and i don't feel that -- my
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right toe split in half. >> cho took the wrapping from a cinnamon roll and turned it into a flower. >> this is what saved her life, she and her husband's life. i'm grateful for that. >> we are lucky, and i'm so grateful for that. i think anyone who's been tough times knows that you celebrate every day. >> in boston, terry mcswoeeney, nbc bay area news. there's chana call for chant the california puc. the call for change has grown since our investigative unit's report raising questions about the executive of the utility. lawmakers not happy with this confidential document.
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tony? >> not pleased because two and a half years after san bruno, it shows the culture is still not focused on safety. now, the puc says it needs time to fix the problems. and today a growing list of lawmakers suggests the way to fix the problem is a change in leadership. >> simply put, this report is extremely alarming. >> a report marked confident. it's contents tell the story. >> when i learned about the report as part of today's hearing, my first thought was not again. can't the puc get something right? >> oh, my god. that is crazy. >> lawmakers wanted to know why more than two years after the deadsly and destructive explosions in san bruno -- >> we have a plane down in the neighborhood. >> why testimonials from employees inside the puc describe a culture where safety is still not a priority. where employees talk about cozy relationships with utilities that get in the way of needed
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oversight and account ability. >> this is gravely serious. >> the findings clearly demonstrate that the culture of safety has not been a priority in the past two and a half years. >> how can you look at this report? this internal report and say that there has been progress? i look at it, i don't see one iota of evidence of any progress on safety. i look at this and i see abject failure. >> what the executive director of the puc disagrees. >> we're safe for now in california. because san bruno happened. we're safer now because of the regular u ala tory changes of the puc. >> he ordered the controversial report to candidly identify what needs to be fixed inside the puc. >> turning a system that's 100 years old. that's what we're doing here, it's an immense task, it's not
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going to happen overnight. >> it will take another two and a half years to get the puc's culture to focus on safety. an answer and a prediction that did not sit well with lawmakers. >> i candidly come to the point where i believe it is time for us to have significant change in the leadership of the public utilities commission if we're going to absolutely get the change and safety culture that's necessary in california. >> really think about who should be leading this organization. and if the current people and the current leadership that you have and yourself are appropriate to now be able to take these findings and move forward so that the people of california are safe. >> and that pressure follows a move by san bruno senator jerry hill. asking governor brown to fire the president of the puc, to fire michael peavy. >> the governor needs to replace the president of the puc. >> i heard calls for a change in leadership. will you step down?
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should mr. peavy step down? >> i report to the commissioners, i serve at the pleasure of the commissioners. every day that i am executive director, i'm going do keep pushing the safety culture change at the puc. >> while puc leadership stresses that the confidential report is not an evaluation of objective truth and merely contains views and perceptions. lawmakers countered, it's those views and perceptions that may identify the problems. so what's governor brown's position on the growing controversy? we can't tell you. his office refuses to return our calls, refusing to address the calls for change at the puc. i'm tony covaleski, nbc bay area news. >> give us a call at 888-996-tips or send us at e-mail directly to theunit@nbcbayarea.com. we want to check in on the
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weather. it's going to be changing in the next couple days. >> changing as in april to june. i think by the time we get toward the weekend temperatures will be warming up. 50s and probably some 40s by the time we wake up tomorrow morning. the winds are finally starting to back off. that's quite nice, if you have allergies, wind speeds should be backing off as we head into the weekend. as temperatures start to climb on up. tomorrow morning, mostly clear skies, spring sunshine, inland temperatures tomorrow, mostly 70s, a chance of getting into the 80s as early as friday. we'll certainly get there by the end of the weekend. as you can see on the satellite view. high pressure clearing out the eastern pacific now. as it builds closer to california it will bring temperatures in the 70s, maybe near 80 tomorrow. the biggest part of the warmup will arrive sunday, monday, tuesday. we're talking mid to maybe upper 80s in the forecast. that is a change at 6:00. it looks like some of our valleys will have a chance of breaking records by tuesday of
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next week. in the meantime, mostly clear skies, hour by hour in the future cast. can you notice no low clouds, no high clouds, no rain clearly in the forecast. nothing but sunshine tomorrow. our temperatures will continue to climb on up as we continue to head toward the beginning of next week. this is an interesting time of year where we see 30 degree swings in your temperatures from morning to afternoon. upper 70s around san jose, near 80 around pleasonton. the peninsula and coast will see warming as winds turn offshore toward the end of the week. look at the numbers climbing on up. 80s to mid-80s by the time we get out of the weekend. monday and tuesday, the warmest days of the week, not out of the question. we may see upper 80s in the forecast. warmest days ahead. it does look like june or july there. >> summer's here, sort of. >> kind of. >> thank you, rob. >> we'll be right back.
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that's what it looked like after a massive explosion ripped through a fertilizer plant in the small town of west, texas. near waco, texas, 20 miles away. >> it's difficult just to look at the video. at least 200 people are injured. that's the count right now. nearly 40 in critical condition. many people are feared to be dead. >> 75 to 100 homes have been destroyed. apartment complexes completely decimated. fire crews are now going door to door looking for survivors and to help the injured. this is a small town that we're talking about, less than 3,000 people. people describing it as kind of a little town where everyone knows each other. the mayor saying that there will be people unaccounted for. still unaccounted for tomorrow morning. of course, we're continuing to follow the breaking story.
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we'll get you new information as it's warranted. we'll be back with sports in a moment.
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ahmed fareed here. the warriors are in the playoffs. we already knew that. we just didn't know who they'd be playing. now we do. warriors taking on the blazers, looking to lock up that sixth seed with a win. seth curry a couple three-pointers away from making history. 272 total threes on the season. warriors won, they're going to play the denver nuggets in the playoffs. can you see game one 2:30 saturday on comcast sportsnet bay area. >> they were a great home team. so the challenge, we're looking forward to it. we're looking forward to a great series. >> sometimes they can speed it up, sometimes they can slow it down and still run the offense in the half court. they have a lot of different ways to play well.
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you have to be ready for all of them. >> how about some baseball. giants versus the brewers. bottom nine, tied at 3, bases loaded. one out. a fly ball to deep left. and that will keep them out. that's your ball game. brewers walk off with a 4-3 victory. football, come one, come all. try out for the 49ers. the team held their final pro day today. one player with local ties were able to attend this event. leading up to the nfl draft last week. number 13 is one of the hopefuls. the son of a legend. nate montana, you may have heard of his dad. his name is joe. >> went through basic combine testing at the beginning. 40s, 5'10", then we went through a shortened practice. it was a great experience. pretty much, i thought you could ask to get out on the field and see. >> a lot of pressure when you
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have montana on the back of your jersey. the a's completed the sweep against the astros today, 7-5. the a's have 12 wins. more news after this.
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just into the newsroom right now. a witness account from one of the survivors of the blast in west texas. listen. >> what would you compare that to? >> an atom bomb. a bomb. >> what's your emotional status right now? >> overwhelmed. trying to do the best i can. of course, they're trying to sit me down because i'm bleeding. i said, i've got a job to do, there's people hurt more than me. but i can't communicate with my people. >> listen to the desperation, he says he wants to go in and help.
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more than 200 people are injured, dozens still in critical condition. and many unaccounted for at this hour, the search for survivors goes on. we'll continue to monitor the situation and have the latest on the texas blast and the bombings in boston on our morning show beginning at 4:30. >> thank you for joining us. look at them kids. [ sigh ]
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[ male announcer ] now's the time to spring, customize your own allen and roth patio set exclusively at lowe's. >> announcer: it's "the tonight show with jay leno," featuring rickey minor and "the tonight show" band. tonight, jay welcomes -- from "american idol," keith urban, cooking with paula deen, the music of django django,

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